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Snohomish Conservation District Will Honor 2018 Conservation Leaders
Snohomish Conservation District (SCD) is honoring the following individuals, businesses and non-profits whose work to conserve natural resources has been exceptional. Our 2018 Better Ground Showcase is invitation only this year and will be held on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Mukilteo.
Lifetime Achievement Award - Two Winners
Terry Williams (Tulalip, WA) is a leader in the tribal community and the salmon recovery community throughout the Pacific Northwest ~ Alaska, Canada, Oregon, and Washington. He is a community builder who has actively engaged and worked collaboratively with the Snohomish Conservation District (SCD) and conservation districts across the state and nation since the 1980's. Previously as the Tribal Liaison to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and currently as Commissioner of Fisheries and Natural Resources, Terry often speaks to groups about tribal treaty rights and the importance of working together with private landowners. Terry has worked tirelessly to establish collaborative forums to tackle some of the tough issues surrounding salmon recovery and the restoration of Puget Sound.
Scott Chase (Camano Island, WA) retired from WSU Island County Shore Stewards in November and is an active volunteer for Sound Water Stewards and WSU Waste Wise. He is a steadfast partner to many. He believes that we can accomplish more when we share our strengths, ideas and energy. His dedication to protecting and conserving the region's natural resources, in part by continually bringing together organizations with similar objectives and hordes of dedicated volunteers, is what makes his partnership over the years so inspiring.
Conservation Leaders of the Year - Adult Category
Eric Fritch (Snohomish, WA) embodies good land and people stewardship. He has worked with SCD and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on fencing his extensive riparian areas, has a fully implemented farm plan for his grass-fed beef operation, and he supports four farms on his farmstead to help new and beginning farmers, all of which promote conservation as well as sustainability.
Holy Cross Catholic Church (Lake Stevens, WA) completed a volunteer planting project along their section of the Pilchuck River in March of 2017. They recruited over 50 volunteers including the baseball team from Archbishop Murphy High School. Led by SCD staff member Ashley Shattuck, the group planted over 426 plants and placed plant protectors on about a 1/3 of them. The Church also worked with SCD’s Habitat team a few times in the past to plant native species in their Native Growth Protection Area.
Robyn Smith (Bothell, WA) runs Equine Life Solutions, which is a facility that offers horse riding lessons and therapy near Bear Creek. She also operates a small educational farm to expose and educate at-risk youth from urban areas to natural resources and farming. Robyn met with various SCD staff and the result was the installation of a manure composting system, a rain garden, and a set of cisterns to reduce storm water runoff load to the creek and allow for the collection of rainwater on site for watering livestock. This farm is always striving to be a good steward of natural resources and to farm in a sustainable manner while passing this knowledge and experience on to the next generation.
Carol McMahon (Lynnwood, WA) used the SCD cost-share program to install a rain garden in her front yard in 2013. In 2017, we were happy to hear that she had also expressed interest in being the recipient of free rain barrels for our partnership project with the City of Lynnwood. We installed four rain barrels on her house, and she connected us with two other property owners on her street, one of which ended up getting rain barrels from us as well. Carol is an enthusiastic neighborhood steward and she remains excited about green initiatives for her property.
Holly Small (Stanwood, WA) has worked with SCD for many years on the development and implementation of the WSU Cultivating Success program. Holly is passionate about farming and uses her own experiences, including a background in cattle ranching, to provide real world scenarios in her classes. She has developed farming programs that have been adopted statewide - Farm Business Entrepreneurship and New Farmer/Rancher courses. Beyond education, she is a thoughtful and caring person who has comforted those who are struggling, and has helped bridge the generational gap for those farmers passing their farms onto the next generation.
Stephanie Williams (Lake Stevens, WA) has been a volunteer at the Snohomish Conservation District plant sale for the past 8 years and can be counted on to be there from open to close every year, without fail. Stephanie can identify the various native plants and their uses for our clients, and uses them in her own yard. "Stephanie is a saint," says SCD staff member Julie Allen. In her work life, Stephanie is a paraeducator in the Mukilteo school district. She consistently spends her own time coming up with project ideas for the classrooms she works in to help the developmentally-challenged students learn and conquer new skills.
Brea Dormaier (Snohomish, WA) is a dedicated 4th grade teacher, who invites SCD to come into her classroom each year to teach students about salmon, macroinvertebrates, water quality and surface runoff. They host a tank of salmon so students can make observations about their growth. In addition to our provided lessons, Brea and her team taught the students about the effects of pet waste on water quality. Brea also initiated green schoolyard projects like rain barrels and garden beds installed at their school. With the support of her teaching team and school administrators, teachers like Brea are leading the charge in creating the next generation of environmental stewards!
Conservation Business of the Year
Qualco Energy/Werkhoven Dairy (Monroe, WA) has done many things to help the environment. This year SCD staff constructed the largest rain garden the District has ever implemented at the facility. We removed over 200 dump trucks full of dirt to build this rain garden. It is the first rain garden at a dairy and the first one built with an industrial/agricultural intention. The dairy is right next to a tributary of the Snohomish River basin. This rain garden acts a protective buffer to keep accidental spills out of the river. Qualco Energy and the Werkhoven Dairy have been very easy to work with. They were excited about the project from the start, and they have a unique ability to use this installation for educating the public about water treatment.
Dan Bartelheimer, President of the Snohomish County Farm Bureau (Snohomish, WA) is actively leading the Farm Bureau toward a more collaborative and positive relationship with other community members ~ agencies, other agriculture entities, Non-Governmental Organizations, and tribes. Dan is a farmer himself and a leader in the agriculture community. His leadership has helped to set the stage for positive conversations between the agriculture community and others to collectively better manage our natural resources. He is a constant and consistent advocate for responsible stewardship.
Conservation Partner of the Year
The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (Olympia, WA) has partnered with Snohomish Conservation District to host a series of Veterans on staff through its Conservation Corps program.
The VCC provides opportunities for Veterans to connect with nature in their own way while restoring Washington’s natural resources. They act as boots on the ground with partners across the region. They have inspired residents across Puget Sound to see that, “A country worth defending is worth preserving.” This partnership has allowed SCD to not only give back to our communities through Low Impact Development projects, which help with water quality and quantity issues, but it also allows the District to give back to Veterans offering professional and personal development and growth.
Conservation Leaders of the Year – Youth Category
Jarrett Delfel (Snohomish, WA), age 18, is an exceptional youth, and is close to completing the requirements for Eagle Scout. All over Snohomish County, Jarrett has shown his leadership abilities, maturity & sense of community. He has a way of connecting with members of the community including his peers, adults and professionals and involves everyone in a collaborative process. The result is often something even greater than he imagined, such as the completion of the shelter at Jones Creek, his Eagle Scout project, which is a shelter that will last for 20-30 years and used on a regular basis by every 5th Grade student in the Marysville School District as part of the Jones Creek Outdoor Environmental Education program.
Emily McLaughlin Sta. Maria (Edmonds, WA), age 17, is a leader amongst Edmonds-Woodway High School students in community projects to obtain and disseminate scientific data on water quality, storm water, salmon, and stream habitat. In spite of heavy workloads as a full time International Baccalaureate student, Emily has been in the field every month regardless of weather and ensured high quality data was collected and entered into a community database. Emily’s dedication to conservation has included hands-on work releasing over 800 juvenile Coho salmon into upper stream areas and habitat restoration in Shell Creek, where students planted 400 native plants along the creek to enhance the habitat for salmon.
James Osborn (Everett/Mukilteo, WA), age 10, is an inspiration to others. He is in his second year of participating in the Discovery Elementary Garden Club, which meets weekly before school. He is excited to learn information about plants and gardens, and shares this knowledge with others. His club advisor believes that the interest he shows with this project could lead to a future in an environmental field of study/work!